Coulson has had enough. Ward (Brett Dalton) finally pushed Coulson (Clark Gregg) over the edge on “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” Season 3, episode 9. The villain killed someone close to the director, and Coulson dropped everything to take him out. However, the hunt for the bad guy took Coulson further than he ever imagined.
Coulson’s heartbreak: Coulson and Rosalind (Constance Zimmer) are on a date at her house. They’re finally having the burgers that they talked about having earlier this season, and Coulson finds a matchbook from the bar they went to on their first date. Ros even knows to open Coulson’s ketchup packets for him. It’s far too adorable for a scene on “S.H.I.E.L.D.,” so that should indicate the worst is coming.
Rosalind says she’s going back to work, and Coulson is concerned that he can’t protect her. She says she scheduled a meeting with Malick (Powers Boothe), and then she gets shot in the neck. Coulson is begging her to stay awake while Ward is several blocks away with a rifle.
Coulson’s phone rings after Rosalind dies. “Now you know how it feels, Coulson,” Ward tells him. Ward sends his minions to actually kill Coulson, but the director manages to escape.
Finding Ward: Coulson wants to interrogate the original team. He thinks they can learn more about Ward’s motives. Daisy (Chloe Bennet) is the one with the longest interview. She admits that she understands why Ward fell in with Hydra. Garrett (Bill Paxton) was a father figure that he needed.
“The reason Ward kills isn’t because he feels nothing. It’s because he feels too much,” Daisy explains.
When Hunter (Nick Blood) tries to apologize for Coulson’s loss, Coulson grabs him by the throat. He says that the Brit should’ve finished his mission the first time. He quickly comes to his senses and says that Hunter and Bobbi (Adrianne Palicki) are coming with him to find Ward. Since Coulson has to cross some lines that a S.H.I.E.L.D. director shouldn’t, Mack (Henry Simmons) is acting director.
Over at Hydra, Ward is reprimanded. Malick says they need Coulson alive. He explains that the stones are the key to everything they’ve been working toward, and Ward’s plan for closure was jeopardizing it.
Fitz and Simmons’ capture: Banks (Andrew Howard) comes to S.H.I.E.L.D. after Rosalind’s death. He is able to give Fitz (Iain De Caestecker) and Simmons (Elizabeth Henstridge) more intel about the space program that sent Will (Dillon Casey) through the portal. He confirms that Malick funded it.
Banks goes with Simmons and Fitz to a facility that might lead them closer to opening a new portal to Maveth. Simmons wonders if they should stop trying to return to the planet. After all, Hydra wants that awful creature she ran into and they could be risking the safety of all humans just to save Will. Fitz refuses to abandon their mission.
Once they get to the facility, Banks shoots the guards and says he isn’t controlling the gun. Then the weapon floats out of his hand and shoots him in the head. A telekinetic Inhuman stands proudly behind Banks’ dead body.
Hydra captures the S.H.I.E.L.D. science team. Malick wants information about how Simmons got back to Earth, but they’re not talking. Ward splits them up to torture them. Ward claims he’d never do anything to hurt Simmons, but the same isn’t true for one of his Hydra buddies. The Inhuman uses his telekinetic powers to raise a hammer and pliers.
Ward goes to Fitz and they can hear Simmons’ screams. It’s obviously painful for him.
— Agents of SHIELD (@AgentsofSHIELD) December 2, 2015
Coulson’s revenge: Coulson learns that his agents have been captured, but that doesn’t change his plan. He kidnaps Ward’s brother, Thomas (Tyler Ritter). Coulson shows Ward that they have his sibling via video chat and quickly hangs up on him.
The S.H.I.E.L.D. team explains to Thomas that this is the only way to draw out Ward, and Thomas, surprisingly, is fine with it. “OK, but you better finish him off when you do,” Thomas says.
Thomas talks to Ward when the former double agent calls back. Thomas tells Ward that he changed his name and moved because he feared his big brother. Ward tries to justify killing their parents, but Coulson cuts off the call once they trace it to his exact location. Bobbi, Hunter and Coulson let Thomas go with a security detail to protect him from Ward.
Opening the portal: Mack confers with May (Ming-Na Wen) and says Coulson turned down backup. May tells him he is Coulson’s boss right now, and the acting director decides Coulson made the wrong call.
Mack clears Lincoln (Luke Mitchell) and Joey (Juan Pablo Raba) for action. He knows it’s a dangerous mission, but S.H.I.E.L.D. needs extra power. “Either you step up and do the damn job, or you let the bad guys win. The choice is yours,” Mack says. They agree to go and it looks like the Secret Warriors are officially together. But they don’t get there fast enough.
Hydra is sending Fitz into the portal with a team to show them how to get back from Maveth. Malick tells Ward that he’ll lead their men on the other planet. Ward says he isn’t done on Earth until Coulson is dead, but Malick claims Ward is the only one who can do this. He says it’ll bring them the ultimate power.
Fitz refuses to let them kill Simmons, so he agrees to go. “I’m just not strong enough to live in a world that doesn’t have you in it,” Fitz tells her. He says he’ll bring Will back with him. Hydra opens up the portal and Fitz and Ward jump in with a team.
S.H.I.E.L.D. is watching the gathering take place via heat signatures. Coulson claims he can tell which one is Ward and decides to go in. He jumps out of the plane and goes into the building and straight through the portal.
The team is dropped into the middle of a sandstorm. Coulson is just a few seconds behind them, but the team is nowhere to be seen when he falls out of the sky and hits his head and is knocked unconscious.
“Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” Season 3 airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. EST on ABC.